Monday, April 21, 2008

The REAL GP Experience

So finally there is time to blog again... finally, the end of their vacation in France!

On Monday morning, Angela and Guillaume awoke very early. They had to arrive at the airport a few hours before their flight because they weren't sure if there would be any seats for them on the flight.

When they checked in, the ticket agent told them that the flight was over-booked. Oh no! Their luggage was tagged "stand-by". Angela didn't think that was a good sign, but she is a believer, so she had hope. One of their suitcases was overweight, so they had to open up their suitcases to transfer things from one suitcase to another.

They took a little train from the main terminal to another terminal where they went through security. Then they went duty-free shopping and did not buy anything at all. They figured their suitcases weighed enough without adding to what they had to carry home.

After they waited for an hour at the gate, Guillaume checked in with the gate agent, who told him that it was unlikely that they would get on the plane, since it was oversold by 17 seats. So, again they waited. Finally, their names were called, and they received their boarding passes. Seat: JPS. That means jump seat. At least they were on the plane!

The passengers began to board the plane, and Angela and Guillaume waited until the very end. Finally, they got on the plane. Guillaume talked to one of the flight attendants, and he apologized that he could not seat us in Business Class, but it was full. At this point, they were just happy to be on the plane, since Angela had to be at work for an important meeting the next morning. (But they were a little disappointed that they would not be relaxing in Business Class!)

The flight attendant brought them upstairs to the jump seat in the bubble of the 747. They were sharing one jump seat.

Then, a flight attendant came over and asked us, "Which one of you would like to go into the cockpit for takeoff?" Angela pointed to Guillaume and said, "Of course, he will." Guillaume said, "No, I've been in the cockpit, you go."

Shortly before the plane was leaving the gate, the flight attendant brought Angela up to the cockpit. He introduced her to the pilot and co-pilot, who is a friend of Guillaume's father. Angela was buckled into her seat, and the pilot and co-pilot were doing their pre-flight checks while she watched. Finally, they were ready to take off. The plane started moving slowly down the runway, and suddenly, they were in the air! Angela didn't think they were going fast enough; it feels very different in the cockpit than it does in the back of the plane. About 15 minutes later, the pilot showed Angela the "mascot" and said, "Now she flies the plane!"

Then, Angela and the other flight attendant unbuckled themselves and left the cockpit, and Angela thanked them for letting her have that amazing experience.

Angela went back to the jumpseat where Guillaume was sitting. It was then that he told her he had never been in the cockpit for take-off. She asked why he told her that he did. He said that she wouldn't have gone otherwise. So, of course Angela told him he would go in the cockpit for landing.

The rest of the flight was uneventful, except for the rude woman sitting across from Angela's other jump seat. The woman put her bag on the floor in front of Angela, and put her feet up on the bag. One of her feet kept ending up on Angela's bag, right next to her water. Gross! Angela finally asked her to move her feet away from her water.

Angela went upstairs to visit Guillaume in the bubble, and he had just come out of a visit into the cockpit. The pilot told him that the U.S. doesn't allow anyone but crew into the cockpit during the landing. Guillaume was disappointed, and Angela was very disappointed for him.

They landed at Logan Airport, and Guillaume went through Customs in the US citizens and residents line with Angela! They didn't have any problems until after they got their luggage. The customs people told them to go over to the place where they screen the suitcases. They were a little nervous because they had 7 bottles of wine (which they told them about), and a lot of foie gras, tins of duck, rillettes, and a LOT of mini-saucissons!

After the suitcases went through the x-ray, the man asked them to open the suitcases because he saw some kind of can. Angela had packed the food inside clothes to protect it, and she found one jar of foie gras and gave it to the man. He looked at it, then told them it was fine. They closed their suitcases and went out to the taxi stand.

Finally, they arrived at home, unpacked, and collapsed on the couch.

Angela had a REAL GP experience!


Anonymous said...

Only one picture? Or is my computer really slow?


p'tit pap said...

I imagine our two "GP" were tired after so many emotion and it's alway a pleasure to be back..
Helen, your computer is right but, only one jump seat = only one picture..
If they seat in first class next time, they'll take a lot of pictures!!LOVE..Ptit'Mam'

Angela & Guillaume said...

With our champagne and foie gras, of course...!